Because the complications of vertebroplasty are serious and can include new fracture, we retrospectively evaluated potential risk factors for new fracture after vertebroplasty. Our hypothesis is that thoracolumbar vertebrae adjacent to a vertebroplasty site have a higher incidence of new compression fracture than do other vertebrae.Methods:
Between March 2001 and December 2002, a total of 271 patients underwent vertebroplasty and a retrospective review of charts was performed. Patients reached 24 months of follow-up were included for analyses. Age, gender, bone mineral density, the numbers of prior vertebroplasty procedures, cement volume, postoperative kyphotic angle, the vertebral level, and kyphotic changes were assessed in relation to surgical outcome.Results:
The 220 patients had a mean age of 72.7 years (range, 53–97 years) and a mean follow-up interval of 25.6 months (range, 24–36 months). A total of 15 patients had 18 new fractures, and 11 new fractures were at the thoracolumbar junction (T12–L1) (p = 0.61). New fractures were in vertebrae adjacent to a treated vertebra in 55.6% (10 of 18 cases) of cases. Analysis of potential predictors for new vertebral fracture failed to identify statistically significant risk factors, despite a large sample size.Conclusions:
Overall, 6.16% (18 of 292) of all treated vertebra developed associated new vertebral fractures. Cranial vertebrae were most likely to fracture at the adjacent level, whereas thoracic vertebrae were least likely to fracture at the adjacent level. Additional risk factors for new vertebral fracture are poorly understood.